September 11th, 2010

Alex says come here

Aussiecon 4 Masquerade - Reasons and Reactions

This is going to be a long, long piece, as I have a lot of ground to cover. I want to cover it all here so that my apology doesn't have anything in it that looks like trying to make excuses.

That said, as much as I'm taking responsibility for what happened, I am also going to be pointing out some of the major inconsistencies of reaction that surround the event. Some of these have annoyed me greatly because they treat information from a single source as fact, and react according to that assumption.

Let's face it, most people like to be outraged first, and spend time checking their facts twenty-ninth.

My way of dealing with things is give people facts, and to ask people to think about them. If people want to hate me based on those facts, fine. If people want to hate me based on what they think they know about me, and what they believe happened, and ignore any facts that challenge what they already feel they know, that's pretty much their own problem.

That said, I am actually quite angry about the way things have been manipulated to take an already unfortunate situation and make it look substantially worse. I'm quite willing to wear my screw-up, I'm not willing to wear what people imagine my screw-up to be, based entirely on hearsay.

That said, I am choosing not to repeat the story here. I have two reasons for this.

1. With the one obvious exception, I have been damned by people who never heard the original anecdote. Many have already made up their minds based on this single Tweeter's account of what was said, and some have already shown that they won't let facts get in the way of their opinion.

If I were to present the piece here, given it's not going to be the homophobic diatribe that people expect it to be, I would probably be accused of having watered it down. As it is, I expect many to assume my reluctance at retelling the piece is proof absolute of my guilt of having delivered a homophobic diatribe.

Damned if I do, damned if I don't.

2. If I repeated the piece here, then there's a chance someone else will get hurt. If 400 people read it, shrug, and go, "That was it?" and one additional person is hurt by it, I will feel bad for that person. This is actually my main reason for not repeating it.

I'd rather hurt my 'case' than cause another person needless distress.

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Serious Thoughts

Aussiecon 4 Masquerade - Apology

Here are links to the Who to Blame and Reasons and Reactions post that build to this apology.

First up I'd like to state publically that I deeply regret the distress caused the individual who attended the masquerade. My choice of fill-in material was poorly chosen and not thought through. That you were hurt by material that can be considered homophobic is a sad and terrible thing, the fault is mine alone that you were exposed to it, and I am genuinely sorry you were upset.

I would like to apologise once more to Nick, for putting him in the position of feeling he needed to tell the anecdote, and for any criticism aimed at him after the event. That you know this was never my intention doesn't detract from that fact you have been hurt, and I deeply regret hurting you.

I would like to say sorry to Rose, Perry, and the Aussiecon 4 Committee for being put in a position of having to apologise. You had nothing to do with what happened at the masquerade, you had enough to worry about with running the convention, and didn't need to be put in that position.

I'd like to apologise to the audience at the masquerade for the aspersions made on their character. You did nothing wrong, and people would not be calling your character into question were it not for my error of judgement.

And finally I'd like to apologise to anyone who heard about events at the masquerade and were hurt or upset by what they were told happened. I have no doubt that the events as reported were deeply distressing to many of you. You would not have had to deal with these reports if it hadn't been for the offence I caused in the first place.

All I can say to each and every one of you is that no harm was ever intended, but that is no excuse. The issues stemmed from a lack of preparation time, and that in future if asked to do an event that I don't feel I have sufficient time to prepare for, I will decline.

I would ask that anyone you see discussing the situation also gets pointed to these posts, thank you.
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